US Potato Board, Culinary Association & Key Bloggers promote spirit of excellence amongst Malaysian Chefs What do US potatoes, five chefs and a competition have in common? They make up the main ingredients of a culinary challenge headlining – of course – US potatoes that storms Kuala Lumpur and I was there as one of the main judges of this exciting challenge.
The first judging was executed by four fabulous food bloggers Kelly Siew, Chris Wan, Goh Soo Yin and Fish Sze Hui. While the final judging was oversee by Chef Rossham Rusli, Chef KK Yau, Eddie Saw, Leena Ng and myself.
In a bid to enable our creative local chefs demonstrate their skills and culinary excellence using US potatoes, the US Potato Board (USPB) has partnered with the Culinary Association of Malaysia (CAM) to launch the “US Fresh Potato Culinary Challenge “.
Chefs from five leading F&B outlets comprising cafes, restaurants and hotels will whip up and serve a scrumptious dish each featuring US fresh potatoes. The participating outlets are Dorsett Regency, Sheraton KL, Suka F&B Restaurant, Bankers Room and Muzeum Café. The chefs had battled it out with their creation of various tasty dishes using different varieties of US fresh potatoes. These dishes were judged by well-known food bloggers, representatives from the Chef Association of Malaysia and USPB. The points was given based on creativity, presentation, taste and overall impression on the dishes.
The winning chef will be awarded a study tour to the USA for a week, specifically at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) where he will be joined by other chefs from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Central America. There will be an exclusive opportunity for interactive learning and exchange of knowledge and culinary skills amongst the best chefs in the region.
The dish from Chef Eugene Keith De Silva was ecstatic, refined and exciting, it had spectacular to look at with amazed. I personally like the present of three different petite entrement that caught the heart of the judges and bloggers with a great surprised. The three components a combination of Chinese, Western and Indian influence were neat yet the taste was debateable. At the right hand of the row stand a purple potato “Woo Kok” , followed with an open faced lasagne and ending with a Croquette.
Chef Eugene was creative and brave in executing his dish. The “Woo Kok” looked stylish and eye bubbling. I loved purple US potatoes was used as the casing for the crispy duck skin and salted egg in hoi sin sauce. Looked and tasted brilliantly.
Moving on to the second inline was the open faced lasagne that came with a string of pasta ribbon. Layered over with spinach, mushroom, sliced chat potato and topped with mozzarella cheese. Now this one can be slightly tricky, it should be taken while it is warm and soft but when it is left long, it will have a tough biting texture as the pasta harden.
As for the croquette, fresh Idaho potato mash was carefully put into play with great infused of flavour and Indian spices. The croquette was paired with onion jam at the side. The texture and flavour were well paired but I expected more. It end well and as said it looked just terrific. The “Woo Kok” was very memorable and the dish to order.
It was beautiful plated, and it was such a gorgeous creation that served just infront of us by Chef Norhakim Halkin at Dorsett Regency. It was adorable, sous vide striploin over parmesan crust, turkey roll stuffed with foie gras and sous vide vegetables and shallot balsamic glaze. The protein was perfectly cooked, medium raw and was too my liking. The curst too was superbly executed. The foie gras supported well with the protein and created a great tasting platter.
Well the dish itself had a miss, the potatoes seemed to have lost in translation. We were serve with a small portion of cooked potato. It was really delicious but expected to more on the plate. The dish could be a winner in this competition if more potatoes were put into use. Still it was a good effort from the chef as it was a fabulous cooked sous vide striploin.
The entry from SUKA was a very full plate with two great showcase, a cod and potato mash. The plate was plenty and exciting but can be confusing. I guessed it was too much going on.
The cod fillet was beautifully pan seared and baked. It was a nice crusty texture while inside was keep beautifully moist. The russet potato mashed was done to the right texture topped with cheese and filled with a piece of beef steak. The dish was well presented but I found the portion mash too generous and my steak was raw and was not cooked. As whole the dish was good but there were lacked of creative in presenting the potatoes.
Marching to the next restaurant was at Chef Kiong’s kitchen. His creation was very sophisticated he russet potato to shell to look like bone narrow and filled with minced chicken and sage. Next to it, statued two gorgeous potato tamago which was orgasmicly delicious. The centre laid the cabbage filled with potato filling with the inspiration of the mooncake. Here I found the potato filling that came with salted egg yolk and mango was sweet and the potato dough was rather tough in texture. Overall the creation was beautifully plated and well think of but the combination of a sweet and savoury may not always work, yet a big gamble.
My last stop was at the Muzeum Bar & Restaurant and a plate of pan-seared NZ tenderloin graced the table. It was really eye catching piece of fine edible art. During the blogger’s examination the protein was over-cooked but during the main judging the tenderloin was perfectly executed. The crowning of the tenderloin was so excitingly gorgeous, carefully shredded and baked to the right golden colour.
The potato pave was really amazingly crafted with such dedication. It was really delicious and the texture was just right and not overly soft. Having paired with sauteed mushroom, the whole potato pave was brilliant.
At the other corner laid a poached sweet potato, a potato ball and topped with a slice of refreshing and well thought raw purple potato. The dish was very captivated and definitely a well executed dish where potatoes were put into good used.
This is the first campaign that USPB has embarked on which involves judges from various industries like media, bloggers and an established culinary association – all who will scrutinise the culinary prowess of our local chefs. It was an eye-opening event which was excitement and buzedz for the participants and the public as well.
Malaysia is world-famous for its wide and scrumptious range of multi-racial foods available to tempt the taste buds of food aficionados. Malaysian chefs are much-sought after for their ability to produce many creative dishes using various types of ingredients from all over the world….and potatoes are gaining more popularity as a main ingredient in many kitchens.
Chef KK Yau, Secretary General of Chef Association of Malaysia said: “We are pleased to collaborate with USPB on this wonderful competition. Potatoes are a main staple in Malaysian households as well as in the F&B arena. Being a chef myself, I am excited about this campaign which I believe is an ideal platform for healthy competition amongst Malaysian chefs.
The US Potato Board is encouraged with the response of the F & B businesses in Malaysia towards US fresh potatoes. Positive feedback has been garnered on the US fresh potatoes in relations to its many advantages including better texture, flavor, taste to the dish they are added to.
Besides tasting good, the potato itself is a powerhouse of nutritious goodness. A medium sized potato (approximately 148 grams) scrubbed clean and eaten with the skin provides up to 45% of a person’s intake for Vitamin C; 2 grams of fiber which improves constipation and gut health and more potassium than a banana.
Potassium is good for cell fluid balance and to neutralize the effects of high sodium to help with blood pressure control. It also provides a healthy dose of Vitamin B6 for metabolism function.